Gabe Vincent showed Heat teammate Bam Adebayo that he could handle a starring role during an exhibition game in the summer of 2021, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. In what was expected to be an easy tune-up for Team USA as it prepared for the Olympics, Vincent scored 21 points as Nigeria surprised the Americans.
“Man, when he torched us in the Olympics, in the exhibition game facing Nigeria,” Adebayo said. “He came out with that type of energy, that type of voracity and that type of anger. I felt like, from there, he’s one of us.”
It took a while for Vincent to make his breakthrough in Miami, but it happened when Kyle Lowry was sidelined for a few games with knee soreness earlier this season. Vincent stepped into the starting point guard role and has kept it through the NBA Finals.
“Our stars, Jimmy (Butler), Kyle, Bam, they have just been in my ear and telling me just to play, play basketball,” he said. “They trust my IQ of the game, and they want me just to go out there and play hard.”
There’s more from Miami:
- In an appearance on Showtime’s “The Last Stand,” Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard names the Heat as one of the teams he would consider if he ever decides to ask for a trade, relays Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. “Miami obviously,” Lillard said. “Miami is the obvious one. And Bam is my dog. Bam is my dog for real. Miami is the obvious one. Brooklyn is another obvious one, because Mikal Bridges is my dog too.”
- Duncan Robinson has been able to salvage his season after falling out of the rotation for a while, notes William Guillory of The Athletic. Robinson said he had to focus on incremental improvement every day as he tried to regain coach Erik Spoelstra’s trust. He provided a huge momentum shift in Miami’s Game 2 win with 10 points in a little over two minutes at the start of the fourth quarter. “We knew they were a really good team and we just needed to come out with a sense of urgency in that fourth,” Robinson said. “It was kind of like a now or never sort of thing.”
- John Hollinger of The Athletic is the latest analyst to examine the Heat’s penchant for finding productive undrafted players. He notes that many of Miami’s G League finds began their careers with other organizations, adding that team president Pat Riley showed the same ability to uncover undrafted gems in New York.